Sussex

Murder accused Robert Trigg 'a loutish drunken slob'

Robert Trigg Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Robert Trigg denies manslaughter and murder

A man accused of killing two girlfriends five years apart has been described as "no more than a drunken slob who could act in a loutish way".

Defending Robert Trigg, Sally Howes QC told Lewes Crown Court witnesses who said he was violent and controlling had embellished their stories over time.

Mr Trigg, 52, of Worthing, West Sussex, denies murdering Susan Nicholson and the manslaughter of Caroline Devlin.

Duncan Atkinson QC, prosecuting, said their deaths were "no coincidence".

In closing speeches, he told the jury that Mr Trigg's presence, actions and inaction after the deaths of both women bound them together.

Ms Howes said the sudden and unexpected deaths of the two women were tragic for their grieving families but there was nothing to bind the two together.

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Mr Trigg, of Park Crescent, is accused of murdering Ms Nicholson, 52, at her home in Rowlands Road, Worthing, on 17 April 2011, and the manslaughter of Ms Devlin, 35, at her home in Cranworth Road, Worthing, on 26 March 2006 as they slept after a night of drinking.

The court has heard that in both cases a neighbour phoned for emergency services after Mr Trigg failed to do so on realising the women were dead.

He allegedly went to buy milk and made coffee before telling Ms Devlin's children to check on her.

In Ms Nicholson's case, he allegedly bought cigarettes before phoning his brother and then phoning a neighbour who lived upstairs.

Image copyright Family handouts
Image caption Jurors were told there were similarities between the cases of Caroline Devlin (left) and Susan Nicholson

Initially Ms Devlin's death was not considered to be suspicious, possibly as a result of an aneurysm.

A coroner's inquest ruled that Ms Nicholson died as a result of asphyxiation after Mr Trigg accidentally rolled on top of her as they slept.

The court heard that a forensic pathologist hired by Ms Nicholson's parents to review her case concluded that it was impossible for her to have died in that way without putting up resistance, of which there was no evidence.

Dr Nathaniel Carey also reviewed the pathologist's report for Ms Devlin and concluded that she could have died from a blow to the junction of the head and neck.

The trial continues.

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